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Public Employees in Texas Who Issue Gay Marriage Licenses Are in for a Major Punishment if This Bill Becomes Law

Faith

"Traditional families are recognized as the fabric of our society."

Thom Watson, right, and Jeff Tabaco show the rings which they exchanged during their 2009 wedding ceremony at their home in Daly City, Calif., Monday, June 10, 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this month in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8. Credit: AP

The list of states accepting gay marriage continues to grow, but the battle is nowhere near over in Texas, where there's a recently proposed bill in the state legislature that, if adopted, would profoundly penalize any government employee who issues future gay marriage licenses.

House Bill 623, also known as the Preservation of Sovereignty and Marriage Act, would, in fact, take away the salary of any official who crossed this line, the Christian Post reported.

Text of the bill, which was filed January 7, not only makes it clear that state and local taxpayer dollars cannot be used to support or license gay matrimony, but it also extends this rule to preclude the use of government officials' salaries for this purpose.

Photo credit: Shutterstock Photo credit: Shutterstock

"A state or local governmental employee officially may not recognize, grant, or enforce a same-sex marriage license," text of the bill reads. "If an employee violates this subsection, the employee may not continue to receive salary, pension, or other employee benefit at the expense of the taxpayers of this State."

Introduced by Republican state Rep. Cecil Bell, the bill, if adopted, would amend Texas Family Code to ensure that gay marriage does not become legal in the state, the Texas Observer reported.

Bell said in a statement that he is acting on his commitment to constituents to fight for traditional values and defend their constitutional rights.

"Texas is a sovereign state and our citizens have the right to define marriage. We as Texans voted in 2005 to define marriage as being solely between a man and a woman," he said, according to the Observer. "In Texas marriage is sacred and traditional families are recognized as the fabric of our society."

(Image source: Shutterstock) Photo credit: Shutterstock

It's no surprise that Bell's bill is being opposed by gay and lesbian rights activists.

An action alert put out by Equality Texas chastised the bill, claiming that it "punishes state employees who would follow the law by issuing marriage licenses to loving couples" if and when gay marriage is legalized in the state.

House Bill 623 comes at a time in which Texas is joining Mississippi and Louisiana in defending bans on same-sex marriage; its chances of passage are currently unclear.

Proposition 2 was officially adopted just 10 years ago by voters, restricting the definition of marriage in the Texas state constitution to include only one man and one woman.

Read the entire text of House Bill 623 here.

(H/T: Christian Post)

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